Headline, January 12 2019/ AUSTRALIA : '' ' WILDLIFE'S BIOLOGICAL ARMAGEDDON ' ''




AUSTRALIANS TEND SURVIVORS OF FIRE as scale of wildlife devastation becomes somewhat clear.

The convoy of vehicles fleeing a raging inferno in the forest of southeastern Australia ferried a copious cargo : 11 Kolas, 15 Kangaroos, five chickens, two possums, two dogs and a lorikeet.

Susan Pulis, who runs a wildlife shelter, had rallied her friends to pack the animals in blankets and baskets and take them to safety on the coast.

One friend gutted her downstairs bedroom to house five of the kangaroos. Ms. Pulis has kept the youngest joeys in quilt pouches in another's living room.

''Since the fires, they are very different,'' she said of the animals, ''very on edge.''

As wildfires have killed at least 24 people, destroyed more than 1,400 homes and ravaged 15 million acres, they have also inflicted a grievous toll on Australia's renowned wildlife.

Hundreds of million of animals, many of species found on other continent, may have perished, according to some estimates, devastating the country's unique ecosystem.

''We will have taken many species that weren't threatened close to extinction, if not to extinction,'' said Kingsley Dixon, an ecology and a botanist at Curtin University in Perth.

Even the animals that survived, scampering away or hunkering down, may die from dehydration or starvation, Professor Dixon added. ''It's a biological Armageddon rarely seen,'' he said.

Wildlife in Australia was already under threat before these fires, as humans have changed the landscape. Agriculture is among the top contributors to deforestation which decimates wildlife population, scientists say.

The astronomical estimates of animal losses and the heart-rending images singed Koalas during the disastrous fire season have spread the concern worldwide. Quilters in the Netherlands have mittens for Koalas with burned paws. New Zealanders are stitching joey pouches and bat wraps.

Some experts have been dubious of the high numbers that have spread widely on social media, which are based on estimates of the population densities of mammals, birds and reptiles from previously published studies.

The death toll is reached by multiplying the number of animals expected to inhabit a given area by the total acreage burned.

But it is impossible to know how many animals managed to flee, for instance. Limited access to the burned lands and the difficulty of documenting individual animal deaths complicate efforts to assess the scale of the damage.

Whatever the numbers, it is clear that the devastation is immense, scientists say.

''Its dangerous to put a number to them,'' said Corey Bradshaw, a fellow in ecology at Flinders University in Adelaide. But, he added, ''there's no question there has been deaths.''

At least a quarter of the koala population may have been lost in New South Wales, according to various estimates.

Significant number of the southern brown bandicoot and the long-footed potoroo, a kind of wallaby whose entire habitat has been ravaged by fire, have also most likely been lost.

On kangaroo island, in the state of South Australia, experts said thousands of kangaroos and koalas  had been killed in the fire that has now ravaged a third of the island. There are also grave fears for the fate of subspecies of glossy black cockatoo of which only 300 to 370 remained before the fires.

The blazes have not affected only wildlife. In Batlow, 285 miles of southwest of Sydney, a video taken by a reporter showed the scorched corpses of sheep and cows strewn along a highway. Carcasses like these have raised biological fears around the country.

To protect Australia's  wildlife, rescuers like Ms. Pulis, who fled the forest for the coast late last month, are battling immense changes to the country's landscape on a tiny scale.

They cannot save Australia's wildlife on their own, but their work is reinforcing scientists' judgement that intervention will be increasingly necessary to protect animals on a hotter, more fiery planet.

The sadness of this publishing continues into the future. The World Students Society thanks author Livia Albeck-Ripka.

With respectful dedication to the 'Preservation and Wonders of Wildlife', all over the world, and then Students, Professors and Teachers of the world.

See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011:

''' Fires For Fury '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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